Sunday's L.A. Times real estate section will include a nice piece from real estate editor Lauren Beale praising the 24-year run of Hot Property columns by Ruth Ryon, who originated the feature.
Ryon was one of the first journalists in the country to recognize that readers shared her passion for a glimpse into the homes and lifestyles of Hollywood celebrities, sports figures and captains of industry. It was in reading Parade magazine that she got the idea to write the column as short, pithy items. Her writing style was the voice of the woman behind the pen: She let the facts, in understated prose, speak for themselves.
Although it was then-Real Estate editor Dick Turpin and Times' associate editor Jean Sharley Taylor who gave her the go-ahead for the column in 1984, then-deputy associate editor Shelby Coffey III saw its potent reader interest and moved it to the front page of the section in 1987, where it remains a fixture....
Among the imitators, People magazine offered On the Block, and the Wall Street Journal started its Private Properties feature. In recent years, blogs have picked up the trail of celebrity transitions, including RealEstalker and Big Time Listings.